An air ticket can sometimes be cheaper than a rail ticket !
The erstwhile gap between rail and air fares is progressively being reduced.
In case of Rajdhani, only the first 10% of berths are at current prices. The rest 90% will be sold at prices starting at 10 per cent higher than the base fare and ending at 50% cent more for 2AC and 40% for 3AC. That is, the Rajdhani fare may become greater than the air fare! 1AC Rajdhani fare is already more than a normal air fare. This decision of Indian Railways to introduce dynamic pricing for select premium trains appears to be encouraging more and more people to resort to air travel. However, low-priced air tickets that are seen are normally meant for very few seats while most of the seats are generally sold at higher rates as the journey date comes closer. This is what dynamic pricing is all about.
Travel times between Delhi and Patna –
By Train –
Normal Travel – 12 hrs by Rajdhani, and 13.5 hrs by Sampoorn Kranti. (Present Fastest Trains)
+ 0.5 hr minimum waiting time.
By Air –
Normal travel – 1.3 hrs
Reporting time – 2 hrs early
Clearly, 2AC rail and air fares are equivalent.
As part of reforms, despite an uproar over the move from the opposition, Indian Railways introduced dynamic pricing on premium trains.
Railways have later clarified that the model was introduced on an experimental basis and it will be reviewed after some time.
As per AirAsia India CEO Amar Abrol, “While air travel on some routes are cheaper than train ticket, people are unaware of it. However, the dynamic pricing of train tickets would definitely help low cost airlines to get more passengers.”